The House passed the immigration bill, known as the ‘Dream Act’ with a vote 216-198. Congress voted today on the Dream Act, the bill that would offer a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the country when they were children.
‘It’s the right thing to do for these young people,’ said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, speaking on the House floor.
Democratic congressional leaders had enough votes to pass the bill during the lame-duck House today. The Dream Act would give conditional green cards to undocumented immigrants if they graduate from high school and pursue a college education or military service. After a 10-year waiting period, they could obtain permanent residency if they met all the requirements, and they could eventually apply for citizenship.
It is a major victory for young immigrant students who worked tirelessly for an education and a better life.
Rosario Lopez and other students are willing to make great sacrifices and be arrested in their quest for the passage of the Dream Act.
Lopez was arrested with a dozen other undocumented students for refusing to leave their sit-in in the Hart Senate Office building.
Francisco Curiel was part of the calling drive to push for passage of DREAM Act.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is under scrutiny today, which may in fact lead to one giant step towards fixing the immigration policy in America. With almost 12 million illegal immigrants in the nation, it is imperative that the US find a suitable solution for the undocumented workers who are condemned to work in black market jobs.
The DREAM Act will allow young undocumented immigrants who were brought in by their parents illegally to become citizens if they fulfill the following requirements: they must be under 30 years old, have entered the US before the age of 16, have resided in the US for 5 years. They must also graduate high school and attend college or join the military.
Students protesting in Balita, California
An estimated 300,000 to 500,000 immigrants could benefit from this act. Not only will it provide opportunities for young immigrants to become recognized citizens, they will be able to contribute to the economy as educated workers and also serve in the military.
CUNY students protesting
Republicans are still wary about this Act because they are concerned that more eligible workers will flood the already stretched job market. Another issue with the DREAM Act is that some are concerned that the US is trying to enforce laws and simultaneously encouraging the violation of them. As soon as guidelines are set, there will be ways to circumvent them.